by Polla Horn
for The Frostburg Express
Thomas Jefferson Green
Thomas Jefferson Green was born on March 17, 1881, the third of nine children born to William and Amanda Green. Thomas grew up in a loving and caring family of farmers and coal miners. At age twenty-one, he married Jessie Anderson in the Presbyterian Church in his home town of Lonaconing. The young couple soon became parents with the birth of their daughter Ruth on January 20, 1903. A year later, on February 29, 1904, Ruth became a big sister to William “Buster” Green. They were joined by another sibling, Dalton, on December 29, 1905.
Thomas, Jessie, and their three children lived with his parents, William and Amanda Green, on Douglas Avenue. Although the family was deeply saddened by the death of Thomas’ sister Iris in 1904, the home was bursting at the seams with three generations of happy, fun-loving people.
Joy turned to sorrow as one tragedy after another assailed the family. Four months after the birth of Dalton, Thomas was killed in a mining accident. The Cumberland Evening Times reported that Mr. Thomas Green, twenty-five, was instantly killed at 11:00 AM on April 26, 1906 in Franklin Mine by a premature fall of coal. He was working with two others miners who were “seriously, if not fatally injured.” When found, Thomas looked as though he had fallen asleep in a sitting position, resting against the wall of the mine. (Our research team has not been able to identify the two men who were working with him.)
Jessie Green was so distraught over the death of her husband that she became incapable of caring for her three children. Her in-laws, William and Amanda Green, understood her sorrow and worked as a team to raise their grandchildren. In 1916, William passed away. Amanda forged on, sending two sons off to war in that same year.
Son Fred was a private in the 71st Infantry and son Charles was a private in the 135th Machine Gun Battalion, 37th Division. 1918 tested Amanda’s resilience. Charles was killed in combat in Meuse-Argonne, France on October 14. He was buried in France and later re-interred in Oak Hill Cemetery. Her young grandson Dalton, son of Thomas and Jessie, was the first recorded death from the Spanish Influenza in Lonaconing. He was twelve years old. Amanda Green buried her husband William, three children (Iris, Thomas, and Charles,) and her grandson Dalton before she died in 1935. All are buried in Oak Hill Cemetery.
Thomas and Jessie’s two remaining children, Ruth and Buster, eventually married, raised families, and enjoyed grandchildren. The Green family legacy of triumph over tragedy was handed down to the generations who followed them.
Our committee would like to thank great-granddaughters Debbie Hartman and Gail McCormick for their contributions to this “Miner Recollection.”
The Coal Miner Memorial Statue Fund is accepting contributions for the placement of an educational memorial near the crossroads of state Route 36 and the National Road in Frostburg. A bronze statue will honor all of our Georges Creek miners and name those who perished while mining.
Tax-deductible donations can be mailed to
Foundation for Frostburg CMMSF
P.O. Box 765
Frostburg, MD 21532.
We welcome updated information and encourage your participation. Contact Polla Horn at email@example.com
Bucky Schriver at firstname.lastname@example.org to share your thoughts and stories. Be on the lookout for future “Miner Recollections.”